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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2001 Feb;48(2):149-62.

Diminished levels of the putative tumor suppressor proteins EXT1 and EXT2 in exostosis chondrocytes.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, Texas 77225-0708, USA.


The EXT family of putative tumor suppressor genes affect endochondral bone growth, and mutations in EXT1 and EXT2 genes cause the autosomal dominant disorder Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME). Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of these genes plays a role in the development of exostoses and chondrosarcomas. In this study, we characterized EXT genes in 11 exostosis chondrocyte strains using LOH and mutational analyses. We also determined subcellular localization and quantitation of EXT1 and EXT2 proteins by immunocytochemistry using antibodies raised against unique peptide epitopes. In an isolated non-HME exostosis, we detected three genetic hits: deletion of one EXT1 gene, a net 21-bp deletion within the other EXT1 gene and a deletion in intron 1 causing loss of gene product. Diminished levels of EXT1 and EXT2 protein were found in 9 (82%) and 5 (45%) exostosis chondrocyte strains, respectively, and 4 (36%) were deficient in levels of both proteins. Although we found mutations in exostosis chondrocytes, mutational analysis alone did not predict all the observed decreases in EXT gene products in exostosis chondrocytes, suggesting additional genetic mutations. Moreover, exostosis chondrocytes exhibit an unusual cellular phenotype characterized by abnormal actin bundles in the cytoplasm. These results suggest that multiple mutational steps are involved in exostosis development and that EXT genes play a role in cell signaling related to chondrocyte cytoskeleton regulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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